Posts tagged "1101815"

Skawski, et al. v. Greenfield Investors Property Development, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-018-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   13-P-1947                                       Appeals Court MICHAEL SKAWSKI & others[1]  vs.  GREENFIELD INVESTORS PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT, LLC.[2] No. 13-P-1947.     February 27, 2015. Jurisdiction, Land Court, Housing Court.  Land Court, Jurisdiction.  Housing Court, Jurisdiction.      Upon a joint motion by the defendant, Greenfield Investors Property Development, LLC (Property Development), and the plaintiffs (abutters), a judge of the Western Division of the Housing Court Department reported, for further review and determination pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 64(a), as amended, 423 Mass. 1403 (1996), her order denying Property Development’s motion to dismiss.  Property Development challenges the Housing Court’s jurisdiction over the abutters’ claim.  Relying on our holding in Buccaneer Dev., Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Lenox, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 40 (2012) (Buccaneer), Property Development argues that with the enactment of G. L. c. 185, § 3A, establishing an expedited permit session in the Land Court for large-scale development projects and grant of concurrent jurisdiction to the Superior Court,[3] the Legislature divested the Housing Court of jurisdiction over such matters.  It asserts, therefore, that the judge erred in denying its motion to dismiss the abutters’ claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  We agree and reverse the order denying Property Development’s motion to dismiss.   Background.  The planning board of Greenfield issued a special permit approving Property Development’s plan to develop a 135,000-square-foot retail facility within the town of Greenfield.[4]  The abutters filed an appeal pursuant to G. L. c. 40A, § 17, in the Western Division of the Housing Court Department, challenging the issuance of a special permit to Property Development.  Property Development and its codefendants (see note 2, supra) subsequently filed a joint motion with the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court (CJAM)[5] to have the matter transferred pursuant to G. L. c. 185, § 3A, to the permit session of the Land Court.  The abutters opposed the transfer.  The CJAM denied the motion, and litigation proceeded in the Western Division of the Housing Court Department.   Following our decision in Buccaneer, supra, Property Development moved to dismiss the abutters’ action, asserting that the Housing Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action.  The Housing Court judge denied Property Development’s motion to dismiss and conditioned that denial upon approval from the Chief Justice of the Housing Court Department to transfer the matter to the Superior Court.  To obtain that approval, the judge sent a letter requesting that the case “be […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm

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